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Ramadan Preps in the Time of Covid-19

Warning: Long post ahead. It’s SO worth the read though.

Ramadan Glossary:
Suhoor- this is the pre-dusk meal that Muslims typically eat (also called sehri and sehr)
Iftar: this is the break-fast meal
Taraweeh: evening prayer that is often prayed at the mosque
Eid: post-Ramadan celebration

Ramadan is one of the holiest months of the Muslim calendar. During this time, Muslims all around the world abstain from eating or drinking (yes, even water) from dawn until dusk. The point of fasting is to become more God-conscious in the form of patience, discipline and self-restrain.

Ramadan is special to all Muslims because in the craziness of life, this is when we choose to slow down and focus on ourselves, our community and our faith. This is the time of the year where you go back to your roots and really spend quality time with your community in the form of dinner parties and daily trips to the mosque.

This year, however, in the time of Covid-19 and quarantine/isolation, Ramadan is bound to be very different than what modern-day Muslims are used to. This is how I see this month going and how I plan to take the positivity out of the situation:

  • Time is going to by much slower without the fast-paced life of working outside the home
    • On the other hand- use this extra time where you won’t be commuting to/from work to rest or engage in worship
  • Feelings of lack of spirituality due to not being able to go to the mosque
    • On the other hand- you can truly worship for yourself and at your own pace instead of for others.
  • Social unrest because of the lack of Iftar (breaking fast) parties
    • On the other hand- you can truly establish the traditions YOU want to establish for your family and maybe set the pace for future Ramadans
  • Perhaps a shortage of food or inability to eat everything we’re craving
    • On the other hand- food may become less of an obsession for those fasting. We can truly focus on making ourselves better in other ways.

Now to focus on something less negative, well maybe! What is the best way to prepare for the month with all the craziness of the Corona-pocalypse? The truth is that no one knows your home and your lifestyle better than you. I am of South Asian background, so a lot of my list will be related to my background so I tried to keep things as vague, yet specific as possible. Here are my tips:

  • Complete this planning process with the other family members. Chances are only one person will be going out to the stores to shop so it’s important to make this as seamless as possible.
  • Start off with a list:
    • The Essentials: the grocery that you NEED or will need on a daily basis. (rice, oil, spices, etc).
      • Try to think to each meal and each person in the family and what they need/require. Also include the needs of anyone who is not fasting.
    • Ramadan-Special Grocery
      • Every culture enjoys different “Ramadan Foods”. Make a list of what ingredients you need for these.
      • Also see if you can plan ahead to Eid. Many of us enjoy special treats and if there are items you can store/freeze until then, try to get them.
    • Try to organize your list according to which stores you go to. This is SO important to make sure the grocery-shopper doesn’t forget anything. (My husband also likes things listed by what area of the store he can find them, it’s a headache but it really makes it convenient).
    • List a clear number of how many items you need (and if there are specific brands), as much as possible. This helps make sure you don’t buy too much or too little of an item and also helps saves money.
    • Non-perishable items such as oil, rice, flour can be bought in bulk.
    • So can freezable items, such as bread. But also keep in mind freezer space.
    • Try to plan ahead by thinking of items you typically run out of more often.
  • Freezer meals/snacks
  • Kids/elderly not fasting
    • If you’re the one cooking, you won’t want to be cooking 3+ meals a day when you’re fasting.
    • Try to plan meals that they can put together quickly
    • Have leftovers on hand to quickly grab
    • Prep some “anytime snacks”: these are snacks your little ones, if old enough, or for you to grab for your little ones
      • Cut fruit/veggies individually portioned to grab quickly
      • Cheese sticks
      • Hummus and veggies
      • Individually portioned chips, Cheez its or veggie straws
      • Raisin boxes
      • Applesauce packets
  • Corona-pocalypse and Ramadan, especially, are not the time to waste or throw out food.
    • Prep enough food so that you eat ONLY the times you are willing to eat.
      • If you’re family is down to eat leftovers until they finish, more power to you and you guys are amazing people
      • If your family will eat a meal two times: make enough for iftar/dinner and suhoor.
      • Make meals that can easily be repurposed into other meals or are super versatile.
        • Kheema is definitely one those. But the trick is to make sure that you separate out the portion you want to save immediately after cooking. You don’t have to freeze it right away if you feel like you will end up eating more in your first meal. But, I feel, undoubtedly, that the more you “touch” food the faster it goes bad.
        • Check out my “Leftover Makeover” page and the post. The page has recipes that I have made with leftovers (and hope to update throughout Ramadan) and the post has ideas, that I constantly update.

For those of you who made it this far, THANK YOU. I hope this month is beneficial to you and your family. Please try and be positive.

13 replies on “Ramadan Preps in the Time of Covid-19”

This was really helpful and thought provoking. I enjoy how you linked the recipes throughout and gave great examples for what we should be doing during our extra time! It’s nice to turn the negativity into something positive.

Thank you so much, Mary for your kind words and support! You have to think positive sometimes otherwise it becomes a cycle of depression

This will come in handy for Ramadan! I was worried that it wouldn’t be the same this year because of Covid19 but post will help me to make this Ramadan as special as I can for my family. Thank you.

Good reflection on Ramadan in these trying times.
Well thought and detailed advice on food selection and preparedness, very helpful indeed

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